Despite dropping points against Ivory Coast and Ghana in the group stage of the WAFU U17 Tournament, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria has qualified for the semi-final to face Burkina Faso.
Nigerians were on the brink of elimination from the tournament after a poor start against Ivory Coast, followed by a surprise draw against Ghana.
However, the blushes of the junior national team setup were saved after host nation Togo were thrown out of the competition.
Coach of the side Fatai Amoo was optimistic of qualifying for the next round at the expense of Togo and Ghana. The Golden Eaglets only needed Ivory Coast to beat Ghana with at least two-goal margin to ensure qualification.
The Ivorians defeated Ghana 3-1 in the final game of the group stage to book a place with Nigerian neighbours the Niger Republic on Friday.
Who will Nigeria face in the semi-final of the 2021 WAFU U17 Tournament and when it will be played
The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will face Burkina Faso in the first semi-final of the competition by 5 PM.
At least, Nigeria is close to qualification for the African U17 Tournament slated for Morocco later in the year as preparatory for the FIFA U17 World Cup.
Five-star side Ivory Coast will tackle the Niger Republic in the second semi-final tie of the competition from 8: pm.
A lesson as a result of poor preparation and mismanagement
The poor selection process bedevilling the youth setup in Nigeria has continued to be a major problem for the country during important tournaments.
At the world stage, Nigeria is five-time Champions of the world and is considered as the most respected and successful team in the tournament at the age-grade level.
Elimination from the competition would’ve caused a major shakeup and probably huge changes in the managerial department of the youth setup.
This is a major test and lesson that should be learnt by the national team and it’s handlers.